A 22-year-old Boko Haram commander was Tuesday sentenced to 60 years imprisonment for his role in the activities of the terrorist group in the North East of Nigeria.
A Federal High Court sitting in Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger State, handed down the sentence after Abba Umar refused to renounce membership of the group, rather he boasted that if he was set free he would return to Sambisa Forest to continue with the group.
This is coming after the court on Monday jailed another member of the group, a cripple, for his role in the abduction of over 200 school girls in Chibok, Borno State in 2014.
Umar, who maintained a hard look throughout the proceedings, had been in detention since 2014 after his failed suicide mission to a school in Gombe State that year.
He was also alleged to have taken part in an attack on a military cantonment in Maiduguri before his arrest.
He refused every attempt to make him accept legal representation on grounds that he was obeying the voice of Allah to join the terrorist group.
Two of the five counts preferred against him attracted death penalty but the Judge said he decided to impose lesser sentences after taking into consideration the age of the convict and the fact that he must have been exposed to “excessive and consistent religious indoctrination” which made him to be easily inclined to violence.
The Judge added, “For count 3, I sentence him to 60 years imprisonment.
“I would have been more merciful but was rather dissuaded by the convict’s insistence that he would go back to the activities of terrorism which constitute danger to the society and for which he was apprehended.”
Umar was 18 when he was arrested after his failed attempt suicide mission to Gombe Secondary School, Gombe State, in 2014.
During the trial on Tuesday, Umar confirmed that 17 pictures tendered by the prosecution as exhibits showing him, the car and the IEDs used for the failed operation, to be true and authentic.
While testifying earlier, the convict who said he married two wives in Sambisa Forest after joining the sect, described himself as “an Islamic warrior, and a commander in the Islamic army”.
The convict who spoke in Hausa and his testimony interpreted in English during the proceedings, confirmed that as a commander in the Boko Haram sect, he had over 100 lieutenants under him.